Faith in the North - initial background and exploration

On 12 June 2023, scholars and Christian leaders gathered at an event held at Bishopthorpe Palace to discuss how to mark the anniversary in 2027 of the baptism in York by Bishop Paulinus of King Edwin, the first King of Northumbria to profess the Christian faith. They discovered multiple challenges and encouragements for teaching, preaching, church planting, prayer, and renewal.

Questions raised included:

  • What did a mission-shaped Church look like then and how can it inspire and help to equip us now?
  • Why did Bede, a devoted biblical scholar, choose to invest so much time in telling the story of church planting in this land?
  • How did radical missionary discipleship translate a faith which originated in Palestine into the multi-cultural context of an island lying at the very edge of the known world?
  • What can we learn from the way the Church in Anglo-Saxon England used beauty, worship, places, and the arts to engage people and communicate faith?
  • What might we do to develop further resources for mission and teaching?
  • How can we play our part in sharing our rich inheritance of faith effectively today?

Talks were given to address some of these questions and these are available to watch or read below.

  1. Purple circle with words Faith in the north within it, with path and cross inside the circle
    1 min read
  2. Woman standing at lectern with screen behind her

    1. Revd Professor Dee Dyas


    Revd Professor Dee Dyas (Centre for the Study of Christianity & Culture, University of York) explores missional discipleship and extends a bold invitation to consider how missionary disciples of the past can encourage and enhance our vision for mission today.

    2 min read
  3. Man speaking at a lectern

    2. Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York


    Archbishop Stephen Cottrell sets out how he intends to preach, encourage the church in missionary discipleship, teach the faith, and form a network of church planting and church revitalisation communities across the North in the coming years.

    2 min read
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    3. Canon Professor Michelle Brown


    Professor Michelle Brown, Author of ‘Bede and the Theory of Everything’ shares details of a history timeline between the 5th and 8th centuries and of a powerful faith in the North, visible public context and the very modern-day strategy of pilgrim destinations.

    2 min read
  5. woman at lectern

    4. Canon Professor Joyce Hill


    Canon Professor Joyce Hill, University of Leeds explains key characteristics of the Church’s life and mission through the stories of those whose commitment to Christ changed the world around them – and how this still challenges us today.

    2 min read